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Frustration as Sue Gray Report Discussion Denied

13 July 2022 | Updated 14 July 2022
 

Angry business leaders in the cleaning and hygiene sector have hit out after the government simply failed to fully respond and agree to their demands for a meeting to discuss the findings in the Sue Gray report.

The industry body representing the cleaning and hygiene sector - which is one of the ten biggest in the UK and worth nearly £59bn - has twice asked to meet Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to discuss concerns over the lack of respect and poor treatment of cleaning staff identified by the report into parties at Number Ten.

Sue Gray’s long-awaited final report found that "some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly."

 

“Given the lack of anything substantial in response to our request for a meeting, we can only assume that the ministerial statements and apologies over the way cleaning staff were treated were merely empty rhetoric."

 

– Jim Melvin
Chairman, BCC

 

Opportunity to Move Onwards and Upwards

 

The British Cleaning Council (BCC), which was left "appalled and upset" by the revelations, naturally and reasonably wanted to review the allegations with government and discuss the steps that have been taken to deal with them.

BCC Chairman Jim Melvin first wrote to Mr Case to formally demand a meeting on 25 May, immediately after the Sue Gray report was published, and this was followed up by email. The initial letter was acknowledged but no other response has been received.

Mr Melvin said: “After the appalling way cleaning staff were treated in Downing Street, surely it is not too much to expect to sit down and discuss what has been done about it with someone representing the government?

“We need to be sure that this disgraceful scandal has been properly resolved and we need reassurances that cleaning staff in Government will be treated correctly in future. Instead we have been snubbed. We are very unhappy and disappointed.

“Given the lack of anything substantial in response to our request for a meeting, we can only assume that the ministerial statements and apologies over the way cleaning staff were treated were merely empty rhetoric.

“The government appears to accept the treatment of cleaning staff with arrogance and disrespect, at a time when our hardworking and professional colleagues were on the frontline in the fight against the COVID pandemic and needed and deserved support and recognition. How can we possibly change this clear and unacceptable culture from our leadership, if they won’t even meet with us?”

 

Picture: UK Houses of Parliament. Image credit: Unsplash.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 13 July 2022

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